STATE OF NEW YORK
DIVISION OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY RENEWAL
OFFICE OF RENT ADMINISTRATION
92-31 UNION HALL STREET
JAMAICA, NEW YORK 11433
IN THE MATTER OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW
APPEAL OF DOCKET NO.: DK430004RO
SASSON REALTY DOCKET NO.: DA430007B
ORDER AND OPINION GRANTING PETITION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW,
AND REVOKING RENT ADMINISTRATOR'S ORDER
On November 13, 1989, the above-named petitioner-owner filed
a petition for administrative review of an order issued on October
11, 1989, by the Rent Administrator, concerning the housing
accommodation known as 350 Manhattan Avenue, New York, New York
wherein the Administrator determined the tenant's complaint of a
reduction of several building-wide services, which was filed on
January 9, 1989.
The challenged order reduced the rent controlled tenants'
rents based on the results of an inspection conducted on July 13,
1989. As the tenants did not request a rent reduction, the rent
stabilized tenants' rents were not reduced. However, the owner was
directed to restore services to the required level.
The tenants complained that the present owner drastically
curtailed the prior owner's practice of placing trash cans in the
basement, and was providing them at that location only during
evening hours. At all other times, the trash cans were located in
the rear alleyway of the premises. The tenants contended that
placing the trash cans outside the building resulted in seepage of
foul odors to adjoining apartments and an infestation of flies.
The tenants also complained that the elevator did not level
The owner responded that trash cans were provided in adequate
numbers in the alleyway on the side of the building based on the
recommendation of the insurance company, and that the basement
access for trash deposit was restricted to prevent vandalism, to
increase building security, and to eliminate vermin infestation in
the basement areas. The owner also stated that the elevator was
recently inspected by their elevator maintenance contractor and was
found to be in good working order.
The inspector found that the storage of trash receptacles and
containment of building refuse was improper, in that lids were
missing for three of the six trash cans provided, and that the
elevator did not level on the first floor. The inspector also
reported that there was no evidence of foul odors.
On appeal, the owner asserts that the conditions have been
corrected, and requests that the rents be restored. Copies of the
owner's appeal were served on the tenants on March 5, 1990.
Several tenants responded disputing the owner's claim that services
were restored. Some tenants also assert that, shortly after the
Administrator issued the order under appeal, the elevator was out
of operation for a few months.
The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) has long-
established comprehensive procedures and inspection programs in
place, and the City staff engaged in carrying out these programs
also has the necessary technical expertise to conduct periodic
inspections; to interpret and apply relevant codes, regulations and
industry standards; and to issue violations. Furthermore, in view
of the City's greater experience with elevator enforcement, the
City is in a better position than the DHCR to determine appropriate
performance standards and ancillary equipment for elevators of
varying age and manufacture.
The tenants complained about levelling problems. A review of
the DOB inspections conducted between the time the tenants filed
their complaint in January 1989, and the date the Administrator
issued his order on October 11, 1989 revealed no violations for the
failure of the elevator to level properly.
Turning to the trash storage complaint, the Commissioner notes
that the condition cited in the Administrator's determination,
i.e., that trash can lids were missing, did not reflect the
tenants' complaint that the trash cans were relocated from the
basement to the alleyway. Nor can the complaint be considered to
have raised an issue of base date services. In fact, the tenants'
complaint also reflected that the owner complied with the rules
regulating the collection, retention and disposal of trash, by
keeping upon the premises sufficient, proper and separate
receptacles for the deposit of refuse, and by placing two
receptacles within the building between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m..
Moreover, the inspector's report that there was no evidence of foul
odors contradicted the tenants' allegations.
Since the Administrator did not cite other conditions, the
Administrator's determination that there were service decreases
should be revoked. Rent arrears may be due the owner from rent
controlled tenants as a result of this order. Arrears, if
any,shall be payable in monthly installments, not to exceed the
monthly amount revoked herein.
THEREFORE, in accordance with the provisions of the Rent
Stabilization Law and Code, the City Rent Control Law, and the Rent
and Eviction Regulations, it is
ORDERED, that the owner's petition be granted and that the
Administrator's order be revoked in accordance with the above.
Joseph A. D'Agosta